The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government against Cuba has been maintained and further tightened despite the growing and categorical demand by the international community —in particular the United Nations General Assembly— for its elimination.
While the current US government has taken some positive steps, they are insufficient and extremely limited in scope. Furthermore, they are not intended to alter the complex structure of laws, regulations and provisions that make up the blockade policy against Cuba.
The Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Export Administration Act of 1979, the Torricelli Act of 1992, the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, and export administration regulations are all currently in force. These laws are part of the legal framework of a policy defined as an act of genocide by virtue of the Geneva Convention of 1948 on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and as an act of economic warfare as outlined in the Declaration Concerning the Laws of Naval War adopted by the London Naval Conference of 1909.
As a consequence of the rigorous and fierce implementation of those statutes and other regulatory provisions, Cuba continues to be prohibited from freely exporting and importing goods and services to or from the United States, and it cannot use the US dollar in its international financial transactions or hold accounts in that currency in third country banks. Nor is Cuba permitted access to credit from US banks or any of their branch offices in third countries, or from international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the Inter-American Development Bank.
Despite the official rhetoric intended to persuade international public opinion into believing that the current US government has implemented a policy of positive changes, Cuba remains unable to trade with any subsidiaries of US companies based in third countries; and businesspersons from third countries interested in investing in Cuba are systematically harassed and blacklisted.
One of the distinctive characteristics of the current US administration’s implementation of the blockade has been an upsurge in the persecution of Cuba’s international financial transactions, including those that stem from multilateral organizations that cooperate with Cuba.
Currently, the leaders of the most vicious anti-Cuban groups in control of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs are preparing to deal a new blow as part of their incessant obsession with the island aimed at preventing and hindering the presence in Cuba of foreign companies interested in oil exploration in Cuba’s exclusive economic zone.
One example of how the actions against Cuba recognize no borders or sovereignties is the request made to the US Secretary of State by Florida Senator Bill Nelson. On May 19, Senator Nelson called on the US government to intervene before the Spanish government to force Spanish oil company Repsol to stop oil exploration works it had scheduled to carry out in Cuba. In addition, a top-level political delegation headed by US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar went to Madrid to pursue this same objective.
As stated in this report, the direct economic damages caused to the Cuban people by the implementation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the United States against Cuba up until December of 2010, at current prices and based on very conservative estimates, amounts to more than 104 billion dollars.
Taking into account the extreme devaluation of the dollar against the price of gold on the international financial market during 2010 and this continual trend, the damages caused to the Cuban economy would exceed 975 billion dollars.